Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with David Lux, Director, Digital Marketing at TCL North America

David Lux is the Director of Digital Marketing at TCL North America, one the world’s largest consumer electronics brands and the second best-selling TV brand.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I fell in love with technology and the internet at a young age, after becoming hooked on Commodore 64 video games and later AOL. But since the days of dial-up, my career has largely continued to focus on digital communications. After college, I started out as a copywriter for a web development company, and then went on to manage digital campaigns at several agencies. 

Eventually I went in-house and started bridging the two areas of content and performance marketing together for some of the most admired brands in consumer electronics. I love gadgets and learning about the latest innovations, so my experience in tech is something that I’ve really enjoyed. And, it’s what led me to my current role at TCL. 

For the last few years, I’ve been leading all things digital for TCL, one the world’s largest consumer electronics brands and the second best-selling TV brand. In that role I push our digital brand and e-commerce experience forward, all while working with a small but talented team of designers, social media marketers, and PR experts. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

No two days are the same at TCL, which makes things both challenging and exciting. Now that the Consumer Electronics Show is behind me, I’ve recently been focused on planning for the year ahead, and building a new direct-to-consumer sales channel from the ground up.

I’m an early bird, so I’m typically in front of the computer by 7AM – coffee in hand, of course. I’m most energized, focused, and creative in the early hours, so I like to take advantage of the quiet and calm of the morning hours to clear out the inbox and get a jump on the day’s most important tasks.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by mid-morning, so those few extra hours of focused work before the wider team is at their desks is essential to help me get a little head start, before emails and Microsoft Teams messages become a distraction. 

While my focus is on the North American region, being a part of an international organization means tasks bleed well past the normal 9 to 5. So, my early mornings are great for both deep work, and also for providing quick responses to overseas teams before they head to bed.

At the start of the pandemic, I adopted some unhealthy habits – namely letting working hours stretch well into personal hours and family time. However, I’ve tried to be more cognizant of overworking and have begun being more regimented about start and stop times as I’m still mostly working from home. I’ve also started to block out time on my calendar for personal time. For example, around lunchtime is when I block off time for exercise, and either go for a run or do something to get the heartrate up.  

Since I get an early start, my energy starts to wane in the afternoon. While my mornings are made for writing or big-picture planning, I structure my afternoons for 1-on-1 meetings with my team, reviewing assets, proofreading copy, or simply responding back to emails. 

I aim to wrap up the workday by 5:30 or 6 PM, but before I shut down I review my to-do list and update tasks I’ve completed. I also jot down the most important tasks for the following day so that I know exactly where to begin in the morning. Starting the day with a documented, short list is a huge part of staying productive!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

We’ve started a hybrid schedule where we go into the office on select days of the week, but my team and I are still working remotely most of the time.

I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility of remote work, and value being able to quickly regroup with my wife and daughter at the end of a busy day without having to waste time on commuting. 

Still, it took some time getting used to the new routine. Working remotely has its pitfalls and creating structure and setting boundaries is essential for avoiding burnout.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance is about always having time for the most important things, both personally and professionally. It’s about prioritizing family time just as much as achieving desired business outcomes. 

Frankly, this is something I’ve struggled with in the past and I’m always looking to improve. After working remotely during the pandemic, I’ve certainly learned some lessons. 

The most important thing is knowing your limits and understanding when to stop and save it for tomorrow. Using my calendar to block out time for work time and personal time is essential to not only creating a more balanced workday, but also for setting expectations with colleagues. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

There have been quite a few changes in routines to better adapt to remote work. One is simply taking more breaks. For example, a quick 15 minute mid-day walk can work wonders for both work-life balance, as well as productivity. When I get back in front of the computer, I always feel more energized. 

On days when I’m working through a challenge, I’ve also found that disconnecting and doing some type of physical activity gets the creative juices flowing again, helps me gain a new perspective, and ultimately pushes me past “paralysis by analysis” to really solve the problem. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Marketing Brew is a fantastic newsletter that keeps me current on all things marketing – from new ad tech vendors I should explore, to campaigns that could influence what I’m creating, plus a slew of other industry news and insights. It’s been a great resource. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Google Keep is a notes app that I rely on daily! It’s what I use to organize my to-dos, bookmark important websites I want to save for viewing later, and jot down any ideas that come to mind when I’m on the go. It has a really simple design, without a ton of integrations or fancy workflows, which is exactly what makes it so effective. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?   

So many options, but I’m going to have to go with Barack Obama. Politics aside, he spent eight years tackling tough issues, all while maintaining a great relationship with his brilliant wife and two young daughters. That balance seems almost impossible, especially when I think about the stress and pressure I endure day-to-day, and I’m just peddling TVs!   

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Time is our most precious commodity, so work-life balance comes down to mastering your calendar and prioritizing your most important tasks for any given day. 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.